Covid-19 Pandemic Impacts Many Americans’ Plans for Retirement

Mar 5, 2021 / Amanda Chase, Horsesmouth Associate Editor

The U.S. is facing a retirement savings crisis that likely is worsening thanks to yet another economic crisis. Except for wealthier Americans, the typical working American is not on track to maintain their standard of living in retirement. The retirement savings shortfall can be attributed to many factors, including the move away from pensions, low wages, and a lack of employer-sponsored plans. Also, cuts to Social Security benefits and skyrocketing costs for health, longterm care and housing in retirement are exacerbating the retirement crisis. To assess Americans’ sentiment of retirement, NIRS conducted a survey of working-age Americans to measure their views on a range of retirement issues. The research finds that across party lines, Americans are deeply worried about retirement, the pandemic will impact retirement, and Americans see pensions and Social Security as important for rebuilding retirement readiness.

  1. The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting many Americans’ concerns and plans for retirement.
  2. A large swath of Americans is concerned about their economic security in retirement.
  3. Despite deep polarization on many issues, Americans are united in their worry about retirement issues and potential solutions.
  4. Americans are highly supportive of Social Security and even expanding the program.
  5. When it comes to pensions, Americans have highly favorable views about their role in the retirement equation and see these plans as better than 401(k) savings accounts.

Interestingly, when NIRS asked Americans, “In your own words, what worries you most about being able to achieve a secure retirement?” a common answer was: “"My student loans have kept me back in fulfilling my retirement financial potential. After graduating in debt of six figures, it has been extremely difficult to save for retirement.”

You can find the full report and more survey results here.


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